A true barn find watch is what all the hype is about these days. Today we are offering this fantastic Wittnauer Professional Chronograph ref 7004a that is just that. Wittnauer has gained a great deal of popularity recently due to its great design, functionality and quality. Here at thosewatchguys.com it’s no secret we absolutely love Wittnauer for those exact reasons. When opening this particular model I was in awe of the heft this watch brings. Especially for anyone looking to find a vintage chronograph with a taste of modern. At 40mm and with the amazing faded burgundy bezel makes it wear great on the wrist.
Coming in from a yard sale in Northern Kentucky after most likely sitting in a drawer for decades this example is in all original condition. Original pushers/ signed crown, patina’d lume, crisp dial, faded bezel and un-polished case is what we love. Add in the recently serviced Valjoux cal. 7733 and we wouldn’t change a thing. Click on title for product page.
What Sam and I both love potentially more than anything else about watches is a true “tool watch”, being made for a purpose and to be used for that purpose is why vintage is superior in our opinion. And what better than to be used for military purposes? The design of the W10 and for most military inspired watches from that era is to be tough, functional and easily legible. This lead to some of the best designed watches ever produced and the W10 is a prime example. Smiths has a long history of watchmaking, but like many other brands in the 70’s they were forced to cash out. Due to this unfortunate event, the W10 was the last British produced watch to have all its parts made in the UK including its movements.
Now some details, what does one look for when hunting down a military watch? Of course a black dial with large hands and plenty of lume, outer railroad minutes track, Arabic numerals, fixed spring bars and a respectable size. The W10 comes in at 35mm with 17mm lugs and fixed spring bars. Too small I hear? It would be easy for one to be misled, but when seeing one in the metal the extremely long lugs make the watch wear larger. If anyone has ever worn a Nomos Orion you know what I’m talking about. A six-notch screw down case back as well as having military engravings is always a must for mil-spec watches. Powering the W10 is the in-house cal. 60466E manual winding movement that looks amazing with its gold tone look and easily noticeable pallet fork ticking away. Oh, and it hacks!
Panda dials (or reverse) have been hot for a while now and this Wakmann hits so many points. We believe that they are some of the most undervalued watches you can get in today’s crazy market. Wakmann is the U.S. importer for Breitling, while they may not have the same reputation as their big brother the triple date chronograph packs a serious punch. Made in two versions of sizes at 37mm and 39mm this example is the 37mm version in all stainless steel. A very respectable size and emphasized by the dial configuration, it’s very legible even with all different windows and registers. The dial is set up with the day of the week at 11, the month at 1 and the day of the month on the white outer track. Powering this beaut is the Valjoux cal. 730 column wheel chronograph manual winding movement based on the Valjoux cal. 72. Something worth pointing out is the pump pushers that in our opinion are a fantastic size compared to the case. Something that is overlooked too often these days.
The example we are offering today is great being recently serviced and running as it should with buttery smooth pushers. The reverse panda dial is sharp with no major flaws anywhere, the original hand-set still has all original lume while turning to a beautiful light brown and the case is in great condition with no major scratches or case back tools seen.